In Netflix’s Black Summer, Rose’s toughest edge is well suited to a zombie world, making her a better leader than Rick Grimes on The Walking Dead.
WARNING: The following contains the major spoilers for Season 2 of Black Summer, now streaming on Netflix.
In the zombie genre, whether on TV or in movies, the standard for heroism and leadership will always be AMC’s Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). The Walking Dead. Fans were emotionally interested in her character for nearly a decade, to the point that many haven’t felt the same attraction to the show since she left. Rick was one of the bravest and most endearing figures when it comes to avoiding the undead, but while she’s a very different person, Netflix season 2 Black Summer confirms that Rose (Jaime King) is better than Rick in times of a zombie apocalypse.
Now this is not to bring Rick down as he did a great job bringing Alexandria, Hilltop and Kingdom together, working on deals with Oceanside and all that. However, he was overconfident and naive at times. And he wasn’t as proactive as he could have been, so threats like the Governor, Negan, the Saviors, and later, the Whisperers, would take many lives.
Rick should have been a bit more militant and have accepted that with the old world gone, his identity needed to change to be more alpha. We’re not saying he had to be cruel, but his ways led to so many camp slip-ups, infiltrators, and a lot of drama when, if he had adopted more of Carol’s apex ways, they might have been a little more protected.
Black summer Rose, however, knows how to do all of this, and that is why she consolidates it all, planning and calculating ten steps ahead. Season 1 had her in ruthless mode, killing and willing to sacrifice anyone to find the military camp with her daughter, Anna. But in season 2, she’s a bit more in control and restraint with the girl in tow, and the way she does things shows that she’s mature, but still predicts everyone’s moves.
The way he ends up in a hostel with Anna, defending the girl when all hell breaks loose and people start spinning, killing each other, shows just how prepared Rose is. She trained for this scenario for a time, leveling up her teenage daughter, Anna, for emergencies like this to the point where they are the only ones left. In fact, Rose’s drill has Anna at an elite level with a weapon, way ahead of what Rick accomplished. If Rick had possessed this mindset, Carl could have lived.
Rose also turns Spears, Sun, and Anna into a makeshift robbery team, which is not tolerated, but as they take places and poke around, it shows just how efficient they are in a world where survivors are murdering each other for resources. Rose keeps them mobile, alert, and safe, reducing the likelihood of traitors by not taking new blood. In fact, it’s not deadlift, ergo why cut and run with Anna when Sun and Spears get injured and rebel.
He’s not overly altruistic, but again, his daughter is number one. It leads them to find Boone, trust him, and work the angles so that he leads them to a resort filled with hot water, food, and relative luxury. And this journey is because Rose knows when to be nice and when to be tough. Rose still has a heart, she knows when to be understanding and when to handle her load. And this mentality, coupled with her genius in the desert, leads Anna to an airstrip to escape. He couldn’t do that with a full squad like Rick had, especially since his zombies move like Olympian sprinters. Rose just adapts better and in doing so doesn’t allow the undead to get close to her inner circle, all due to elite traps and an eagle eye that even Rick didn’t have.
Co-created by John Hyams and Karl Schaefer, Black summer stars Jaime King, Justin Chu Cary, Kelsey Flower, Bobby Naderi, and Christine Lee. Season 2 is now available on Netflix.
The Walking DeadSeason 11 premieres August 22 on AMC.
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